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Rep.Phelan, Dade

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Speaker Phelan Announces Changes to Senior Staff 
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by: Rep. Phelan, Dade

AUSTIN, Texas – Speaker of the Texas House Dade Phelan announced today a series of changes and a new addition to his senior staff. The staff changes follow the announcement of the departure of Chief of Staff Julia Rathgeber, who will be replaced by Communications Director Enrique Marquez, effective Jan. 10.

Veteran Capitol staffer and current Deputy Chief of Staff Mark Bell will be departing the Speaker’s administration to pursue endeavors in the private sector.

“Mark has been an invaluable asset to both the Texas House and my team, bringing decades of experience to the table when helping to craft strategy and usher legislative priorities over the finish line,” said Speaker Phelan. “When putting my team together, his experience and knowledge of the most inner workings of the Texas House were a standout attribute, and I want to thank him for continuing his service as part of my administration. I wish him the best in this next chapter.”

The following staff changes are effective immediately:

Jay Dyer will serve as Deputy Chief of Staff in addition to his current role as Policy Director. Dyer has served in various positions within state government, most recently in the government relations department at the University of Texas at Austin and in the office of Governor Greg Abbott.

Kelly Mitchell will serve as Legislative Director in addition to her current role as Executive Director of Speaker Operations. Mitchell originally joined Speaker Phelan’s administration from the private sector and previously served as Executive Director of the Texas House Republican Caucus.

Cait Wittman will serve as Communications Director. Wittman has served in Speaker Phelan’s administration since January 2021 and in various communications roles throughout state government, including in the offices of the Speaker and Governor.

Additionally, effective Feb. 1, Cassi Pollock will serve as Press Secretary. Pollock joins the Speaker’s administration from The Texas Tribune, where she most recently served as state politics reporter, covering all aspects of state politics, government and public policy.

“As Julia and Mark embark on their next endeavors, today the Office of the Speaker begins a new chapter of its own,” Speaker Phelan added. “I am confident that each of these individuals is up for the task they’ve been handed, and we all look forward to hitting the ground running in the new year.”

Contact Info


Capitol Address:
District Address:

Room 2W.13

P.O. Box 2910

Austin, TX 78768

(512) 463-1000

10984 F.M. 1442 Suite B

Orange, Texas 77630

(409) 745-2777